Albany Mayor wants banishment for repeat drug offenders - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Mayor wants banishment for repeat drug offenders

May 16, 2007

Albany-  Albany Mayor Willie Adams admits there's a drug problem on Albany and Dougherty County's streets. To curb it, he's proposing Superior Court Judges consider banishment as part of drug offender sentences. Basically three strikes and you're out.

The rate of repeat drug offenders in Albany and Dougherty County is high. It's 85 percent and Mayor Willie Adams is fed up.

"I think we need to let these people know that we're serious about we're not going to have them repeatedly do drugs on our streets," said Albany Mayor Willie Adams.

That's why the Mayor plans to urge Superior Court Judges in Dougherty County to consider banishment when they sentence repeat offenders.

"We have a lot of repeated offenders and my proposal would be anyone's who's had three or more cases or convictions of dealing with drugs as part of their parole would be banishment from Dougherty County and the City of Albany," said Adams.

"Any time a Superior Court Judge wants to implement that as a condition of probation he or she can do that," said District Attorney Ken Hodges.

In November, Judge Willie Lockette sentenced 46 year old David Lee Marshall a convicted sex offender banished from Dougherty County and all surrounding counties. District Attorney Ken Hodges says the city also needs to do its part by fill its four empty positions at the Albany, Dougherty Drug Unit.

"I think more important if the city is serious in helping in the fight against drugs they should fully fund all of the position at the drug unit," said Hodges.

"I'm not sure that the number of drug agents is the most important rather than to prevent our recidivism. We have too many people who are repeatedly deal with these crime and they come back to our community time and time again," said Adams.

The courts will seriously consider the Mayor's proposal, but Hodges said there must be some mechanism in place to monitor these drug offenders, just like sex offenders must register, to ensure that once they serve their time and are banished they won't return to Albany or Dougherty County.

In Georgia, you can banish someone from every county except one, you can't banish them from the entire state.

Albany Dougherty Drug agents say their biggest challenge right now is prescription drugs. Prescription drug cases in Albany and Dougherty County have escalated, especially among teens who are abusing Oxycontin, Oxycodone, and Zanex.

The teens are often taking the drugs from their parents medicine cabinets. ADDU encourages parents to keep tight control of those types of drugs in their homes. According to ADDU, Marijuana, Cocaine, Crack and even Methamphetamine remain a problems on local streets.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=Banishment